The Right to Be, A Documentary on the Afro-American

The Penny Festival: February 12, 1967

I headed a committee of parents who produced The Penny Festival as a fundraiser for an interracial pre-school that we had started for our children, The Atlanta Cooperative Pre-School Center.

Many of the parents were associated with the Atlanta University Center, Dr Vincent Harding, then Chairman of History at Spelman College was the narrator and major contributor to the script. Dr Wendall Whalum, head of music at Morehouse College trained a group of students to sing some of the songs. Georgia Allen, actress, who taught high school drama and literature, made sure that her top theater students participated.

There were songs, dance, poetry, an art exhibition organized by Floyd Coleman, chairman of Art at Clark College of the works of Kofi Bailey; it was a major coming together of that community. We charged a penny so everyone could attend and we asked people to give more if they could so the school could get some funds, it was a success. This production resulted in my first recording, Sounds of Thunder, and the organization of my first ensemble, The Harambee Singers.